OpenStack vs Terraform: What are the differences?
Developers describe OpenStack as "Open source software for building private and public clouds". OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface. On the other hand, Terraform is detailed as "Describe your complete infrastructure as code and build resources across providers". With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.
OpenStack belongs to "Open Source Cloud" category of the tech stack, while Terraform can be primarily classified under "Infrastructure Build Tools".
Some of the features offered by OpenStack are:
On the other hand, Terraform provides the following key features:
- Infrastructure as Code: Infrastructure is described using a high-level configuration syntax. This allows a blueprint of your datacenter to be versioned and treated as you would any other code. Additionally, infrastructure can be shared and re-used.
- Execution Plans: Terraform has a "planning" step where it generates an execution plan. The execution plan shows what Terraform will do when you call apply. This lets you avoid any surprises when Terraform manipulates infrastructure.
- Resource Graph: Terraform builds a graph of all your resources, and parallelizes the creation and modification of any non-dependent resources. Because of this, Terraform builds infrastructure as efficiently as possible, and operators get insight into dependencies in their infrastructure.
"Private cloud" is the top reason why over 35 developers like OpenStack, while over 80 developers mention "Infrastructure as code" as the leading cause for choosing Terraform.
Terraform is an open source tool with 17.4K GitHub stars and 4.77K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Terraform's open source repository on GitHub.
According to the StackShare community, Terraform has a broader approval, being mentioned in 490 company stacks & 298 developers stacks; compared to OpenStack, which is listed in 66 company stacks and 50 developer stacks.
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